Strengthening Community and Sustainability at NAIST: The Pivotal Roleof the Global Students Network


At the heart of NAIST, the Global Students Network (GSK) stands out for its fervent commitment to enhancing student life through a multitude of social and educational activities. Among these initiatives, the “Recycling Market” serves as a cornerstone, perfectly illustrating GSK’s commitment to a more sustainable and inclusive campus.

The GSK: A Support Platform for All

Founded with the vision of assisting and enriching the student experience, the GSK provides a welcoming and interactive environment that is essential for both international and local students. By orchestrating events such as Halloween parties and sports days, the GSK not only promotes social integration but also strengthens the multicultural fabric of NAIST.

The “Recycling Market”: A Flagship Event

Held each semester, the “Recycling Market” showcases GSK’s commitment to environmental guardianship. During this event, items donated by graduating students are redistributed to newcomers, thus facilitating their transition while promoting recycling practices. This event not only provides essential goods at a reduced cost; it also embodies a practical lesson in sustainability.

Impact and Scope of GSK Events

Each event organized by the GSK offers a learning and sharing opportunity. For example, the Halloween party is not just a festive celebration; it is also a creative contest where students express their creative sides while cultivating a sense of community. Similarly, the “Sports Day” brings the NAIST community together through sports, promoting physical health and well-being.

Community Participation and Engagement

Participating in GSK activities is straightforward. Students are invited to register through online forms, ensuring a spot at events that are often limited in attendance. Not only that, the GSK also often offers on the spot registration for those who missed the opportunity on the early bird registration. These initiatives are not only recreational moments but also times for personal and collective development.


The Global Students Network (GSK) is more than just an event organizer; it is a pillar of student life at NAIST. By promoting engagement, sustainability, and integration, the GSK creates an environment where every student can find their place and contribute to campus life. Students are therefore encouraged to join the GSK, not only to benefit from its services but also to enrich the NAIST community.

Call to Action

For those looking to make a difference on their campus and beyond, joining the GSK is a step toward active engagement. Get informed, participate, and perhaps, take part in organizing events that shape life at NAIST. For more information, visit the GSK website or contact its members directly via social media or email.

A Day of Cultural Discovery and Education with Templish at Chokyu-ji Temple

The Chokyu-ji Temple hosts the monthly educational and entertaining program “Templish,” specifically designed for the young children of Ikoma. This unique program blends English learning with the exploration of rich Japanese culture. In February, the focus was on a project titled “Planting Potatoes,” where volunteer students from NAIST participated in setting up a vegetable garden for potato cultivation.

Upon their arrival, volunteers were warmly received by a dedicated member of the Templish team. This individual efficiently divided the volunteers into three distinct groups.

The first group took on the enthusiastic greeting of the children, the second handled the logging of their participation in monthly activity notebooks, and the third offered a variety of engaging games to entertain the young minds whilst waiting for the event to start.

Following a general assembly, the organizing team took the time to outline the day’s schedule. Through simple gestures and accessible English, the facilitators skillfully guided the children through the potato planting process, supporting their explanations with visual aids to enhance understanding. The key steps included: “cut the potatoes”, “dust the potatoes”, and finally, “plant the potatoes”.

Once in the field, under the careful supervision of the volunteers, the budding young gardeners embarked on cutting and treating the potatoes. With these preparations completed, armed with trowels, they proceeded to gently dig the soil to plant the tubers, thus putting into practice the instructions they had previously learned.

nce in the field, under the careful supervision of the volunteers, the budding young gardeners embarked on cutting and treating the potatoes. With these preparations completed, armed with trowels, they proceeded to gently dig the soil to plant the tubers, thus putting into practice the instructions they had previously learned.

The playful moment continued with a sensory guessing game, where participants had to identify different fruits blindly, thus engaging their sense of touch.

Concluding this memorable day, the announcement of the future potato harvest in June was made, highlighting the virtues of patience and perseverance. This project not only enabled the children to understand the life cycle of plants but also offered them an unforgettable experience of learning and sharing within the community.

Tenkawa Village Tour

The Nara Prefecture International Exchange Salon organized a bus tour to the Tenkawa village, which was attended by several students from various universities in Nara, including those from NAIST.

Tenkawa village is located in the Yoshino district in the south-central part of Nara Prefecture. Tenkawa village is known for its ryokan and onsen and is also home to the Omine Moutain, also known as the “Roof of the Kinki region.”

For the most curious among you, ryokan are traditional and typical inns of Japan, it is even said that they are the oldest type of hotel in the world. Onsen are Japanese thermal baths whose water comes from volcanic springs.

The first step of our journey was a visit to Ryusenji Temple. Ryusenji is a temple from the Shingon Sect of Buddhism and is one of the five temples that protect Mt. Omine taking turns holding opening and closing ceremonies for the temple at the top of Mt. Omine. At this temple, we were taught the importance of entering through the torii gates while avoiding passing through the center of the gate, as the center is considered the path of entry for the deities themselves. After entering, a purification rite called “chouzu/temizu” was performed, and we were able to visit the temple and explore its beauty, as well as observe the prayer practices of the worshippers.

Once the temple visit was completed, we made our way to the village of Tenkawa. From there, we were able to access the Karigane Suspension Bridge, which connects Mount Ohara to the fir forest that stretches behind Ryusen-ji Temple. The name “Karigane” was chosen to express the desire to protect nature in this area. After crossing the bridge, we reached Ohara viewpoint, from which we could admire the Dorogawa River and its surroundings.

It was a beautiful experience to delve into Japanese history and traditions through this immersive journey. We hope to be able to participate in other immersive events like this one.